Hiking Petra (part 1: Highlights)

Hiking the highlights of Petra: Siq, Treasury, Roman Theatre, Main Street, Qasr-Al-Bint, High Place of Sacrifice.
  • Start at: Visitor's Centre.
  • End at: Visitor's Centre.
  • Distance: ~ 10 km.
  • Time: ~ 4 hours.
  • Difficult parts: A long, at the end steep climb to the High Place of Sacrifice. Steep descend back from it.
  • Food: N/A
  • Water: Sold at the Treasury and at the square nest to Qasr-al-Bint.
Start at the Visitor's Centre. Follow the main road for about 15 minutes past the Ginn Blocks and few tombs until you reach the small platz before the Siq (some of the tombs on the right-hand side can be explored). Enter the Siq and follow it to the end (pay attention to the small water dams at the junctions with smaller gorges and also to the remains of pipes on both sides of the Siq; do not miss the huge caravan bas-relief in the second half). The Siq leads to the Treasury. Spend some time exploring it, then follow the main route to the Roman Theatre (on the left). On the right  will be numerous smaller tombs, some worth exploring. Past the Amphitheatre, follow the main Colonnaded Street of Petra; go through the remains of the arch; explore the water channel with the nympheum and remains of later Christian churches beyond the channel (nice mosaics on display). On the left-hand side, explore the remains of the huge palace and Forum. Reach the only free-standing building today, Qasr-al-Bint. Explore Qasr-al-Bint, the follow the trail that begins next to it; going uphill, do a wide arc until you reach the cross-roads at the Pharun Column (above the Forum). From the column, follow a trail that goes behind some small hills with carved tombs in them (they can be explored). When the path reaches the steeper rock face, it will make a right turn and begin climbing. Climb past the tomb of the Roman soldier (the Red Tomb) and go uphill until an opening is reached where the Tomb of the Winged Lion is. Cross the opening and start moving uphill again, with the path often being replaced by narrow staircases, carved in the rock. After several turns, reach the hilltop and enjoy a nice view over Petra. Continue going up (bu more slowly) until you reach the top of the rigde, where large artificial levelling signifies the High Place of Sacrifice. Enjoy the commanding view of all Petra. From the High Place of Sacrifice, follow a narrow and steep descending path that will take you down to the Roman Theatre. From it, follow your original route back to the Visitor's Centre (past the Treasury and via the Siq). Tracks: KMZ file (Note: coordinates are approximate, because they were taken from Google Earth and not from GPS device.)
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